International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 22:08

AUSA 2019: Boeing, Saab conduct long-range GLSDB firing; Jane's Missiles & Rockets

Boeing Defense, in partnership with Saab Dynamics, on 26 September conducted a long-range test firing of the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) from the Andøya Space Center in Andenes, Norway.

The Andøya shot marks the third official firing event of GLSDB; earlier shots were conducted at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden in March 2015 and – in co-operation with the US Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) – at the US Air Force Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range in Florida in 2017.

For the September test, GLSDB was launched in “challenging conditions” from a customised, fully autonomous ISO container, out to a range of 130 km at a pre-determined target area in the sea. “The Andøya Test Center is one of the very few, if not the only, firing ranges in Europe where we can fire at ranges out to 150 km,” Svein Daae, Saab director of marketing, GLSDB, explained to Jane’s .

“The target area was out in the open sea, where the depth is about 2,000–3,000 m, which makes it very difficult to anchor a target. Therefore, we decided to aim at a point in the sea, crosshair-designated by an overhead drone.”

“We’d shortened the shot down to 130 km to ensure that we had very accurate telemetry data. Drone imagery from the shot showed that we’d hit the crosshair precisely, with a very high impact angle; telemetry data determined that, despite the conditions, including strong headwinds, we could have hit a target well beyond 150 km,” Daae added.

In addition, the test was able to determine the effects of launching GLSDBs from a container, in terms of damage, test pressure, and incidental heat surplus. A typical containerised autonomous GLSDB configuration comprises two co-mounted launch pods – identical to those in the M270 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) – each with six GLSDB rounds.

The GLSDB/ISO container concept was introduced earlier this year during Bold Quest 19.1 – a multinational joint fires interoperability demonstration and assessment event, held in April–May in Finland, and sponsored and facilitated by the US Joint Staff. “The Norwegian Army had a mock-up in the container and ‘simulated’ long-range fire support from the container’s position. They tested it in the strategic scenario during the exercise, to see how such capacity would influence the scenario, and possibly learn how to use it in the command chain,” said Daae.

GLSDB is the development of a teaming agreement between Boeing and Saab signed in August 2014. The solution integrates the Boeing GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb I with the legacy M26 rocket motor from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), using an interstage adaptor. Weighing 600 lbs (272 kg) and measuring 154 in (391 cm) in length, 9.5 in (24 cm in diameter) and with a deployed wingspan of 63.3 in (160.8 cm), GLSDB has a range of forward range of more than 150 km and a backward range of 70 km.

The weapon system is furnished with a fragmentation multipurpose warhead, an integrated electronic safe/arm fuze (ESAF) system with programmable impact and delay settings, and a height of burst sensor. Terminal accuracy is delivered by Global Positioning System (GPS)-supported Inertial Navigation System (INS) guidance – which is initiated after the motor is disconnected and the wings unfold – aided by an Anti-jam and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) and an Advanced Core Processor Two (ACP 2) Module.

The GLSDB solution is able to leverage variant developments for the baseline GBU39/B SDB I, including Laser GLSDB, which is a semi-active laser (SAL)-guided option for engaging moving targets.

While currently optimised as a land-based surface-to-surface application, Daae said that the GLSDB concept is also gaining traction in the maritime domain, in coastal defence and ship-borne applications.

“The SAL variant is a version of the current air-launched SDB I. But we tested it in ground-launched mode during the trials at Eglin in 2017, and the SAL seeker performed fine. So, a SAL version could be used for slower moving targets such as larger warships, and we could send up to 12 at one target. There are also some nations looking to use GLSDM from smaller vessels, and because all the guidance is within the effector, all we’d need is a launcher, and to know our own position. But it could also be launched from a container on board a ship,” he added.

Other GBU-39/B developments that could be leveraged for GLSDB include Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) – an option for low collateral damage and, in the future, home on radar/jammer, area attack and advanced seeker options.





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Would love to see how the economics on this fair when one negates the fact that it is utilizing surplus rocket motors (for which only a few thousand may exist that can be recapitalized) but this looks very promising though US Army wants that much or more range from its MLR solution with a faster time to target. This is great for Ground forces like Sweden and Norway and many others who may not have larger fires at their disposal and can use the SDB as a means to provide effects beyond your standard MLRS.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby nam » 18 Oct 2019 22:34

From 3:24, Why I do feel I have seen this design somewhere :rotfl:

Bell's future attack chopper.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2019 02:48

The Bell invictus 360 is a really solid and well balanced design that is going to be very very difficult to beat on cost by the other 3 offerings in the mix. lockheed/sikorsky is chasing the very high end of the requirements and that almost inevitably leads to a cost premium. The other two proposals also incorporate significant amount of risk. As a Light recon/attack Kiowa Warrior replacement, the Bell offering strikes a near perfect balance and carries quite a punch..Bell has taken a high-low approach with their FLARA and FARA offerings while Lockheed appears to have done the opposite (their FLARA proposal is a weaker performer). I think Bell has a superior strategy on FARA and their FLARA design is certainly destined to be part of the USMC/USN fleet if the US Army goes for the Defiant based design..I'm just not sure that the US Army with the sheer size of fleet it needs to replace will be willing to pay a premium for a 280-300 Kt. aircraft to replace the Blackhawk..even though the V-280 has executed a nearly perfect technology domnstrator program and will end it by flying nearly twice as much as they needed to and accomplish significantly more milestones required by the US Army (including autonomous unmanned flights).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 19 Oct 2019 02:57

I think what Nam was referring to is its superficial resemblance with the LCH design. Stub wings that contribute to the overall lift and offload the main rotor is similar to what is on the LCH. Even the location of the tail gear is exactly how it was on the older LCH designs before it was changed to move it further backwards towards the boom. The canted ducted tail rotor is totally different. And of course it has retractable landing gear which is something that any updated variant of the LCH could bring in to help reduce its RCS and drag further.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2019 03:00

Maybe my eyes are deceiving me but it looks nothing like an LCH. If at all, with the silhouette and internal bay, it does bring back memories of the Comanche but with stub wings, which Bell has used off and on, since there are no RCS related KPPs unlike the Comanche.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 19 Oct 2019 03:06

Keep an eye out for the AIM-120C-7 or AIM-120C-8 coming into our neighbourhood in the next few years. the Pakis will be looking for this weapon in the coming years as their AIM-120C5 missiles start to age. They started receiving their first AIM-120C5 missiles in 2010, so they're almost approaching mid-life (assuming a 20 year shelf life without upgrades).

From AW&ST

BEIJING, WASHINGTON—The U.S. has approved a possible sale to South Korea of AIM-120D Amraams, foreshadowing introduction into Asia of the latest standard of the Raytheon air-to-air missile.

Referring to the weapon by the original name, AIM-120C-8, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the State Department had authorized possible sale of 120 Amraams of that and the AIM-120C-7 version. No breakdown of numbers between the two versions was given.

The AIM-120D has considerably increased range.
The U.S. has previously approved sales of that version to close allies Britain, Canada and Australia. Since South Korea is now authorized to buy it, Japan and Singapore can be expected to follow.

The agency named South Korea’s Boeing F-15Ks and Lockheed MartinF-16s and F-35s as the aircraft that would be equipped with the 120 Amraam additional rounds. The estimated cost of the possible sale to South Korea, including containers, support, support equipment and spares, is $253 million.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2019 03:14

The AIM-120D has barely entered export and it is going to be highly unlikely that the PAF gets its hand on them within the next decade. Perhaps in the latter part of 2020's when it becomes the only AMRAAM variant in production and when the US stops buying the weapon. But given that China connection, it is highly unlikely that the PAF will end up with any advanced US gear anymore. The AIM-120D supply is also likely to remain quite low for the forceable future as the USAF is still building up inventory. As long as Raytheon produces multiple variants concurrently there is no chance that the PAF will even be offered the AIM-120D for sale.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2019 08:01

F-15 EX cockpit -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Oct 2019 03:08

From AW&ST

KF-X mock-up on display at the Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition

Image


KF-X Prototype Clears Critical Design Review


Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has begun building the first prototype for the KF-X fighter program, following completion of the critical design review in September.

Development is running on schedule, a source close to the program said.

Rollout of the first prototype is due in June 2021 and its first flight in May 2022, the source said, giving more precise timings than those that have been published. Production of the first aircraft, a single-seater, is beginning with the forward fuselage. There will be four single-seat and two twin-seat prototypes.

These aircraft will be built to the Block 1 standard, cleared for air-to-air missions only. Block 2 will introduce air-to-surface capability. Although the KF-X is designed for eventual development of a stealthy version, the government has given no indication of when that may happen. The first flight-test aircraft is following the strength-test airframe into manufacturing.


South Korea requires 120 KF-Xs to replace Lockheed Martin F-16s. Indonesia is a junior partner in the program, with a reported requirement for 50 aircraft.

Under the development schedule, the air force is due to review test results in 2024. If satisfied, it will advise the defense ministry to issue a production contract. Manufacturing of delivery aircraft will then go ahead while flight testing proceeds to a targeted completion in June 2026, winding up Block 1 development about 10.5 years after program launch. Deliveries are planned to begin in late 2026.

KAI is displaying a full-scale mockup at the Seoul Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, which runs from Oct. 15-19. The mockup shows no changes from the preliminary design that the air force approved in July 2018. That design, the final iteration in a series, was called C-109.

—Bradley Perrett and Kim Minseok in Seoul

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Oct 2019 04:24

KF-X mock up revealed at Seoul Aerospace Defense Exhibition


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 04:39

It seems to carry all the aerodynamic compromises of LO and an Internal Weapons Bay without actually having them. An interesting crawl--walk--run approach but it would be interesting to see how this airframe performs against the F-16 or F-15 in terms of performance, range, payload etc.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Oct 2019 05:00

brar_w wrote:It seems to carry all the aerodynamic compromises of LO and an Internal Weapons Bay without actually having them. An interesting crawl--walk--run approach but it would be interesting to see how this airframe performs against the F-16 or F-15 in terms of performance, range, payload etc.


It'll have a weapons bay, just not functional in the first Block or even the Block 2 version. They're managing risk by de-scoping features that their military feels they can do without in the first couple of blocks, to allow for the production and delivery schedule to be brought forward. It remains to be seen if they will still be able to meet their tight deadlines with this de-scoped Block 1 KF-X.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Oct 2019 05:01

ROCAF F-16 upgrade program back on track says Taiwan Defence Minister

Taiwan's programme to upgrade 142 Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16A/B fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration is back on track, according to Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa.

Speaking to reporters on 16 October, Yen admitted that the Phoenix Rising programme had suffered delays because of a shortage in manpower at the state-owned aviation company Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), but pointed out that an additional 200 employees have now been hired at AIDC's purpose-built F-16 upgrade facility in Taichung. As a result, the programme is expected to be completed as planned in 2022.

The programme, which was launched in 2016, is being carried out by Lockheed Martin and its local partner AIDC, with the first upgraded F-16V aircraft being delivered to the RoCAF in October 2018.

First unveiled at the Singapore Airshow in 2012, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare (EW) system, and a ground collision avoidance system.

The F-16Vs will be able to carry various weapon systems, including air-to-surface ordnance such as the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) and the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). Among the air-to-air weapons that can be carried by the aircraft is the AIM-9X Sidewinder infrared-guided air-to-air missile (AAM), which can be aimed by the pilot using the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese legislator Lu Yu-ling was quoted by local media as telling parliament that the RoCAF is looking to acquire the UTC Aerospace Systems MS-100 multispectral airborne reconnaissance pod, which is a derivative of the company's DB-100 dual-band long-range oblique photography pod.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Oct 2019 05:06

AESA radar planned for Ka-52K helicopter. Will probably be the only attack helicopter out there with this level of capability..it's AESA will allow almost fighter type ranges for detecting targets. Strangely meanwhile, the Russian Navy's MiG-29K fighter will continue with its Zhuk-M radar with no current plans revealed to upgrade it with a new AESA radar.

Russia's Ka-52M combat helicopter to receive AESA radar

Russia's new Ka-52M combat helicopter will receive new targeting sensors instead of upgraded versions of present systems.

The new V006 Rezets (Cutter) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar is being developed by the St Petersburg-based Zaslon company for the modernised helicopter. The test version of the radar installed in a Ka-52K helicopter was shown at the MAKS aerospace show held in Zhukovskiy close to Moscow on 27 August-1 September.

The Rezets radar for the Ka-52 has a fixed 900×300 mm AESA antenna with 640 transceiver modules. It can detect a group of tanks from 45 km, a railway bridge from 100 km, and a destroyer-class warship from 150 km, according to the manufacturer. In the air-to-air mode, it can detect a fighter aircraft with a radar cross section of 3 sq m from up to 50 km head-on and a hovering helicopter from 20 km. The Rezets radar weighs 130 kg, 10 kg less than the current Ka-52's FH01 produced by Phazotron-NIIR of Moscow, and is air-cooled, with an air scoop for cooling seen on the helicopter's nose fairing.

The OES-52 developed by Moscow-based NPK SPP will be the Ka-52M's new electro-optical sight; present helicopters have a GOES-451 turret from UOMZ of Yekaterinburg. According to Russian media, the OES-52 is modeled on the Safran Strix targeting sensor for the Tiger attack helicopter. The OES-52 performs similar functions to the GOES-451 and houses five sensors: a thermal imaging camera, TV camera, laser rangefinder/designator, laser beam riding for anti-tank guided missiles, as well as a laser spot tracker. However, it weighs 177 kg, compared with the GOES-451's 220 kg.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 05:30

Kartik wrote:AESA radar planned for Ka-52K helicopter. Will probably be the only attack helicopter out there with this level of capability..


The US Army just launched a solicitation for a Multi-Functional AESA sensor system for its current and future rotary winged aircraft fleet and most likely with an increasing focus at Unmanned applications because these are and will increasingly become the eyes and ears of the attack helicopter fleet while these helos themselves standing-off for increased survivability.

It is also no coincidence that the sensor solicitation is launched just as the US Army is also seeking a 30-40 km ranged weapon for its rotary craft fleet (LRPM).

Some of the highlights from the Synopsis released (radar)

These AESA antennas would be capable of providing multi-mode, multi-mission, multi-function support to include, but not limited to, Dismount / Ground Moving Target Indicator (DMTI/GMTI), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Electronic Warfare (EW) and vehicle protection systems. The antenna design should focus on low Size, Weight, and Power – Cooling (SWaP-C) technologies and provide the ability to support Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance/Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (ISR/RSTA) missions to address Warning Intelligence and/or Targeting....

1) Modular: An antenna design that encompasses a well-defined architecture for access and control by a 3rd party system supporting radio frequency (RF) convergence across radar/communication/electronic warfare systems.

2) Scalable: refers to the ability to dynamically increase/decrease the antenna aperture size, e.g. by using a panel architecture, with zero/minimal radar backend changes.

3) Multi-mode: Sensor system that is capable of supporting multiple missions (e.g. SAR, DMTI/GMTI) at different times, but not multiple simultaneous missions.

4) Multi-mission: Sensor system that is capable of supporting multiple missions (e.g. SAR, DMTI/GMTI) simultaneously.

5) Multi-function: Sensor system that is capable of supporting multiple RF functions (e.g. radar, electronic warfare, communications, signal intelligence) functions may or may not be executed simultaneously.

6) Warning Intelligence: Those intelligence activities intended to detect and report time-sensitive intelligence information on foreign developments that forewarn of hostile actions or intention against United States entities, partners, or interests.

7) Targeting: Intelligence Targeting: Intelligence that portrays and locates the components of a target or target complex and indicates its vulnerability and relative importance.

Military Operation Targeting: Process of selecting and prioritizing targets and matching the appropriate response to them, considering operational requirements and capabilities.


The fact that they are willing to give contractors 2 years worth of R&D work to get from TRL-4 to TRL-6 seems to suggest that the actual classified capabilities are quite stressing and beyond the realm of cobbling something up that is already mature or easily obtainable.

LRPM (exact summary of specs in the US thread) - https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ft-460869/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2019 22:59

Lockheed, Northrop Join Blue Origin’s Lunar Bid

In a telling sign of the shifting aerospace industry landscape, startup Blue Origin’s bid to build NASA’s human lunar lander system will include industry behemoths Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, as well as Draper Laboratory.
“This is a national team for a national priority,” Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos said at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington. “This is the kind of thing that is so ambitious it needs to be done with partners. This is the only way to get back to the Moon fast.”

NASA is soliciting proposals from industry for a lunar landing system capable of transporting at least two astronauts to the Moon’s south pole in 2024, five years earlier than previously planned. Proposals are due Nov. 1

As prime contractor, Blue Origin would manage the program and provide systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, mission engineering and build the lander’s descent stage. The vehicle is based on Blue Origin’s previously announced Blue Moon lunar lander, powered by a Blue Origin BE-7 engine.

Blue Moon’s crewed lander is designed to deliver 6.5 metric tons to the lunar surface powered by a single, highly throttleable BE-7 engine. The BE-7, which uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, is capable of producing 10,000 lb. force of thrust.

“We now have 13 min. of test time on the BE-7, including the longest-duration firing of 3 min.,” Bezos noted.

Lockheed Martin would provide a reusable ascent stage and oversee crew flight operations and training. Northrop Grumman would provide the transfer element to ferry the lander toward the Moon. Draper would supply descent guidance and flight avionics.

Bezos did not specify if the system would use NASA’s planned lunar-orbiting Gateway to assemble the components, but the inclusion of the transfer stage suggests that is Blue Origin’s architecture. NASA’s solicitation includes an option for companies to propose systems that bypass the Gateway for a 2024 landing.

“We could not ask for better partners,” Bezos said.

“Lockheed Martin has been honored to help NASA explore space for more than 50 years, providing deep space robotic missions, planetary landers, space shuttle heritage and the Orion exploration spacecraft,” Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space, said in a related press release.

“We value Blue Origin’s thoughtful approach to developing human-rated flight systems, and are thrilled to be part of a national team with this mix of innovation and experience. We look forward to safely and sustainably returning our nation to the surface of the Moon by 2024,” Ambrose said.

“Northrop Grumman’s commitment to put Americans back on the Moon dates back over 50 years ago with the delivery of the first lunar lander for the historic Apollo program,” noted Blake Larson, corporate vice president and president of Innovation Systems, Northrop Grumman.

“Along with our ongoing work on the Space Launch System boosters, astronaut escape system, and the Gateway habitat, we are proud to be a part of the Blue Origin national team to support NASA’s Artemis program and the ambitious goal to return to the Moon by 2024,” Larson said.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 23 Oct 2019 05:02

Now this is one ugly bird..

Iranian Kowsar-88 aka Yasin military trainer has its first flight.

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Iran Flies New Military Trainer

The first prototype of the Iranian Kowsar-88 basic jet trainer made its first flight at the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force‘s (IRIAF’s) Third Tactical Fighter Base at Hamedan (also known as the Martyr Nojeh base), most probably on October 15. Apparently renamed as the Yasin, the aircraft was formally unveiled on October 16 in a ceremony attended by Iran’s defense minister, Brigadier General Ali Hatami, Commander of the Air Force, Brigadier General (pilot) Nasirzadeh, and Vice President for Science and Technology, Surena Stari.

Designed by the Iran Aviation Industries Organization’s Aerospace Research Centre, the aircraft incorporates a number of lessons learned from the failed Ya-Hossein advanced-trainer project, under which Owj produced a succession of designs, starting with the Dorna (Lark), then the Tondar (Thunder), and finally the Tazarv (Pheasant). Many of the Owj Complex engineers and technicians were transferred to the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Corporation (IAMI, but better known by its Persian acronym, HESA), which was to be responsible for the new program.

Conceptual design of the Kowsar-88 (also known as the Kosar 88) began In December 2007, and resulted in a twin-engine aircraft that bears a passing resemblance to the Taiwanese AIDC AT-3 and the Mikoyan MiG-AT. The program was officially announced in 2013. The aircraft was designed to make maximum use of components from retired Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighters, including avionics and hydraulics systems, landing gear, and engines. This promised to reduce program costs and to overcome some of the problems posed by international sanctions. For the first batch of aircraft, the Iranian Air Force provided three RF-5As and six F-5As as donor airframes, and promised to add six two-seat F-5Bs.

Officially, the aircraft is powered by two J90 turbofans, which are described as locally manufactured, reverse-engineered derivatives of the General Electric J85, as used in the F-5A. It seems likely that refurbished J85s are actually installed. There are plans that they may be replaced in the 50 production Yasins by 100 Russian-supplied Salyut AI-222-25F engines, following an agreement signed at the MAKS show in 2017. Plans to equip the aircraft with glass cockpits—each with a HUD, three large MFDs and HOTAS controls—were abandoned when the Chinese contractor involved was deterred by the UN sanctions against Iran.


Work on the construction of the Kowsar-88 prototype began in 2016 after an Iranian request for the procurement of 24 Yak-130 advanced jet trainers was turned down. Originally the aircraft was scheduled to fly in February 2017, but the allocated engines were used in the Qaher F-313 mock-up, and the aircraft was still incomplete when it was unveiled in Tehran on April 15, 2017 and the first flight date slipped to mid-2018. Fast-taxi trials began in April 2018, but the aircraft was not ready in time for its planned debut in August 2018. Instead, a rebuilt Northrop F-5F Azarakhsh II that had been used as an avionics testbed for the Kowsar-88 was unveiled as though it was the ‘Kowsar-1’, leading to a great deal of confusion.

The IRIAF plans to procure 50 production Kowsar-88s as advanced jet trainers and light attack aircraft, with service entry provisionally scheduled for 2023. A 16-aircraft squadron will serve alongside the existing fleet of 11 modernized F-5B Simorghs. If sanctions are withdrawn, Iran plans to procure 24 Yak-130s, and if this happens, the Simorghs will be retired and used as donor airframes for 11 more Kowsar-88s.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2019 20:11

https://awin.aviationweek.com/ArticlesS ... SW+Missile

LONDON—France and the UK remain at loggerheads about the development path for a future cruise and anti-ship missile that would enter service in the 2030s.

The €100 million ($111 million) joint concept study for the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) was one of the headline projects for Anglo-French Lancaster House Defense and Security Treaty, yet the study work is struggling to gain traction primarily over the development path of the anti-ship derivative of the weapon.

France wants a weapon capable of high-supersonic speeds while the UK would prefer a subsonic weapon with low-observable attributes.

Without an agreement, industry officials question whether the FC/ASW studies will be able to proceed into the next phase of development. The FC/ASW concept study work is due to conclude in Q3 2020, and would normally be followed by an assessment phase, before proceeding into formal development.

“There are three solutions: UK convinces France, or France convinces the UK, or we do both,” one industry official said. “But then [with the latter] we cannot pretend this is a family of weapons.”

“We are trapped,” said another official, pointing out that the UK has to say stealth is a good asset because it has the F-35, and France has to say speed is critical because the country is using a ramjet engine to power the missile that carries its air-launched nuclear deterrent.

Review meetings already have concluded that the same missile cannot carry out both missions and there are doubts whether industry in both countries could sustain what would essentially become two separate weapon development programs.

The divergence in views first emerged last year in joint defense committee hearings of British and French lawmakers held last December, but little progress has been made since.

One of the challenges is that both the French and British navies have radically different concept of operations for anti-ship missiles, France likes to extend the range of its weapons using its carrier-borne Dassault Rafales, so any weapon needs to be compatible with that platform. The British Royal Navy wants a weapon with long range to deal with area denial challenges.

The program also is challenged by timelines, the UK is looking for a new anti-ship missile by the end of the 2020s to replace the Boeing Harpoon. The UK is investing in an interim buy for several of its surface vessels.

The Interim Surface to Surface Guided Weapon System (I-SSGW) will equip five of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates for 10 years, but companies like MBDA are concerned that an interim purchase could turn into a more permanent arrangement.

The UK is looking for weapons with a limited land attack and terrain following capability. Among the options are the Kongsberg/Raytheon Naval Strike Missile, Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile and Saab’s RBS15.

There is a risk of non-cooperation if two missiles are developed in parallel, industry officials say. Without cooperation neither nation will benefit from common technologies or the quantities of weapons that both nations would jointly purchase, they point out.


I think another dud like Jaguar and sold to India will emerge.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 23 Oct 2019 20:21

Nah they'll develop something because France desperately needs something and is unlikely to source it form outside. If a stealthy Medium-Long range smart Anti-Ship weapon is what the UK needs, it needs to look no further than the LRASM. Part of its technology is already made by BAE (US) and it has an Open Mission System front end scheduled for incorporation in a few years. Moreover, with the XR variant coming online they'll get a 20-40% range boost. If they go with that, then they can invest their R&D money into what France wants and get both those capabilities.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 24 Oct 2019 04:59

The next gen of self-defence weapons is in the making..we're going to hear this "Miz-dem" thing a lot more in the coming years. An extremely short range interceptor to be used on board fighters as a self-defence

From AW&ST..posting relevant excerpts

Image


In an era of air-launched, offensive missiles featuring ever greater range, one program set to enter a new stage of development is bucking the trend and creating a defensive, extremely short-range interceptor.


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) held a classified “industry day” at Eglin AFB in Florida on June 19 for an “upcoming Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM) competitive effort,” according to a May 23 meeting notice.

Industry day this June continues MSDM development

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are on contract

The Strategic Planning and Integration Division of the AFRL’s Munitions Directorate used the half-day meeting to brief about 120 industry representatives on the scope of work for “continued development of the MSDM,” an acronym pronounced as “Miz-dem.”

The closed-door event suggests the air-launched, defensive interceptor program is moving closer to reality. In 2015, the last time U.S. Air Force officials talked about the program openly, the AFRL forecast the MSDM would enter service in fiscal 2023. The current schedule for the program has not been disclosed, but a series of active contract awards with four companies suggests it continues to make progress.

...

The MSDM, if fielded, promises to change how fighters defend themselves from missile attack as the Air Force plans to field a new generation of air-dominance aircraft. In early October, the service’s Next-Generation Air Dominance program established a Digital Century Series initiative, invoking the innovative period in the 1950s that led to the introduction of a string of second-generation jet fighters.

...

Unlike the AIM-260, Peregrine or Cuda, the role of the MSDM program is not to develop an offensive missile, but instead a defensive interceptor. Along with ongoing investments in defensive directed-energy systems, the MSDM represents the AFRL’s response to increasingly sophisticated air defense systems, along with developments in long-range air intercept missiles, such as China’s new PL-15.


The Air Force’s interest in the MSDM, in fact, harks back to similar concepts conceived at the height of the Cold War but never introduced into service. British Aerospace Dynamics, one of the corporate parents of the modern MBDA missile house, started developing a short-range, air-launched interceptor for incoming missiles, but it never moved into service, Barrie says. More recently, he noticed that a Russian company displayed a seeker for a small-diameter missile. “It raises some questions about what they might be thinking about,” Barrie says.

MBDA itself revealed a 10-kg (22-lb.), hard-kill anti-missile interceptor less than 1 m (3 ft.) long at the Paris Air Show. The company is concerned about the rapidly growing capability and proliferation of advanced surface-to-air missiles. They argue that chaff, flare and other advanced infra countermeasures will only be effective for so long, as new guidance systems and advanced seekers are introduced.

The hard-kill approach, using a small missile dispensed like a decoy to shoot down the attacking missile, may be the only way to defend future fighters against such threats.

For such a system to work, the aircraft’s systems will need to “detect, identify the threat and then react, first by defining a maneuver to counter it and launching the missile,” say MBDA officials. Such a system would require a “tight integration” and take into account the aircraft’s surroundings and other friendly aircraft.


...

Such a system would also be an option for larger platforms such as tankers and transports. Indeed, the Navy published a request for information in 2018 for a hard-kill anti-missile countermeasure system for large cargo or patrol aircraft such as the Boeing P-8A.


..

Measuring one-third the size of the Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder, a fighter could carry three MSDMs on every station now occupied by the within-visual-range air-to-air missile.

Finally, the MSDM would serve as one of two hard-kill defense systems, targeting short-range threats. It would complement a directed-energy system, or laser, that could intercept targets at longer range. The AFRL also is developing the Self-Protect High-Energy Laser Demonstrator with the goal of proving a podded, defensive laser sized for a fighter aircraft is feasible.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Oct 2019 06:49

^^ I had posted about the MSDM a year or two ago when the initial contracts for it were awarded to Raytheon and others. The Missile interceptor is not the hard part here. What will be harder from a development and integration would be the fire control loop. I am eagerly waiting to see what sort of sensors the B-21 carries. I'm fairly certain that either at inception, or as a planned upgrade, some sort of MMW sensor for detection, fire-control and EW via a common aperture will eventually get into it. You need to be at MMW to make the interception like this work.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Oct 2019 05:53

Eurofighter Typhoon withdrawn from Canadian fighter competition. After all the wasting of time, it looks like the F/A-18 E/F and the F-35A are the only real contenders.

Field shrinks further for Canada fighter contest

Canada's options for a new fighter have narrowed to three, with the formal withdrawal of the Eurofighter Typhoon from the competition.

In a statement on 30 August, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Airbus Defence & Space announced that the Typhoon would not compete for the 88-fighter deal. This whittles contestants down to just three: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-35A and the Saab Gripen.

Saab, in response to a query from FlightGlobal, states that it is still analysing the 23 July request for proposals (RFP).

In a joint statement, the MoD and Airbus laud the "transparency" and "professional nature of the competition".

However, two key factors ruled out further participation, the partners indicate: compliance with US-Canadian security agreements would add too great a cost to aircraft whose manufacturing and supply bases reside outside North America; and the industrial offset element in the RFP poorly valued the package on offer with the Typhoon.

The departure of a second contender followed the withdrawal of the Dassault Rafale, which was not listed as a potential supplier in the July RFP.

The Typhoon's exit is not the first indication of difficulties over the procurement. Shortly before the RFP was issued, Boeing was forced to deny that it was pulling the F/A-18E/F from the contest amid concerns – apparently shared by Airbus – that the competition would unfairly favour the F-35A.

Lockheed has also argued that it cannot provide offsets because Canadian companies have already received over $1 billion in contracts. Despite being a member of the Joint Strike Fighter programme with initial plans to buy 65 F-35s, Ottawa has dithered about the acquisition over the past decade.

A contract award is expected in early 2022, with the first aircraft delivery "as early as 2025".

Ottawa had wanted to buy 18 Super Hornets to fill a capability gap, but this possibility collapsed amid a 2017 trade dispute with the USA initiated by Boeing against the then Bombardier CSeries programme, which has subsequently become the Airbus A220.

Instead, Canada entered a deal with Australia to buy up to 25 surplus F/A-18A/B "Classic" Hornets. The move is intended to temporarily shore up its ageing fleet of 85 CF-18 fighters.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Oct 2019 06:01

With souring of relations between India and Malaysia thanks to the buffoon at the helm in Malaysia, I believe the FA-50 will be in pole position, given its Western engine and avionics and weapons fit. Only the radar could be an issue, given its Israeli origin (Elta 2032).

But in general terms, this is behind the Tejas Mk1 itself in many areas (radar, LDP, BVR capability, IFR ability)..not to mention the Mk1A that will bring in AESA and SPJ. Yet, the South Koreans have been far better at marketing and supporting the jet in service, bringing about a lot of export sales.

KAI stays focused on FA-50 despite T-X setback

Image

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is forging ahead with sales efforts in the international advanced jet trainer/light attack market with the FA-50 after a stinging loss in the USA’s T-X competition.

Sang Choi is executive vice president and general manager of KAI’s business division. He is a veteran of the company’s overseas sales campaigns for the T-50 advanced jet trainer and its FA-50 light attack variant. He spoke with FlightGlobal at the recent Seoul ADEX show.

..

“I can't say [losing T-X] has had no impact, but business is always ups and downs,” says Choi. “Losing T-X was just one programme out of many. My job is to encourage my people to keep going and we are focusing on FA-50. We’re talking with Indonesia, Philippines, Argentina, and Botswana.”

Indonesia and the Philippines would represent follow-on buys. Jakarta operates 15 T-50Is in the trainer role – it had 16, but one crashed in 2015. Choi says the number is not clear, but that the FA-50 could potentially replace Jakarta’s 15 Northrop F-5 E/F fighters, which Cirium fleets data show as retired.

The Philippines deal could potentially be for 12 FA-50s, adding to its existing 12 examples, but Manila wants some updates prior to making a decision. These include the integration of the Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, a laser guided bomb capability, and the ability to carry 300-gallon fuel tanks on the wings, double the capacity of existing tanks.

Sniper pod integration is likely by the end of 2020, says Choi. Choi is also confident of the FA-50s prospects in Argentina, an acquisition of eight aircraft.

“The Argentine government has already made the decision to buy eight FA-50s, and we have had several serious discussions with them to finalise the configuration, price, and terms and conditions,” says Choi. “Industrial participation is very important, so we've been talking with them.”

KAI will need to provide financing for Argentina deal, and has been working with South Korea’s Export-Import banking on the matter. The sale, however, awaits the conclusion of the country’s general election on 27 October.

The Botswana deal also awaits the outcome of a general election on 23 October, with a potential sale of 12 aircraft. Saab has also expressed interest in this deal with the Gripen C/D.

“They've been looking at several alternatives such as the [Gripen] but I believe they will come back to FA-50. We’ll reengage Botswana anytime right after the election.”

Choi adds that Iraq, which has received 22 T-50IQs out of a total order of 24, has not expressed interested in additional examples. “They are trying to set up their own air force capability. In the meantime, we are focusing on aftermarket support.

Choi adds that there are other potential customers looking at the FA-50. “It’s a little bit too early to expose their names,” he says.

Other longer term upgrades planned for the FA-50 include the addition of a beyond visual range missile, though Choi did not specify a weapon, as well as the potential addition of an air-to-air refueling probe by 2025.

On whether the FA-50 will receive an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, Choi says this really depends on customer demand. The RoKAF does not require this upgrade.

“It's not a simple decision,” he says. “We need to know how many future customers are looking for AESA…some customers are looking for AESA, but some are not. Also there could be an export licence issue. It's a complicated decision. If the market calls, then we'll do it.”


Another potential deal is Malaysia’s Light Combat Aircraft competition, which requires 12 advanced jet trainers and 24 light attack jets. This requirement has drawn a motley crew of contenders, including the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 and Hindustan Aeronautics Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.

..


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 25 Oct 2019 06:35

It was always going to be the F-35A that was the front runner for Canada. They are a partner on the program and have already positioned their industry into the supply chain and are already providing components. Additionally, interoperability is important and the future interoperability with the F-35 fleet commonality is a key advantage. Finally, this thing is a early to mid 2020's capability. Why would they want to buy the Super Hornet when they have no naval need and especially when it is pitted against a fighter that is more advanced, more future proof, and the one that their Air Force wanted all along. The whole "interim" F-18 CH buy was to kick the F-35 decision down the road so that JT could keep on a campaign promise from the previous elections.. They even quietly extended their partnership to the next phase of the program in the interim...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 25 Oct 2019 07:44

@Brar, there has been some discussion (elsewhere) regarding generational capability divide between the East and West as regarding military aerospace development. I know this statement is not a quite accurate one since the sectors involved are too many, but is there a quantifiable method to follow when estimating the aerospace capability of a country? ( companies being another matter). That said what are the niche capabilities to follow when doing such an assessment? Happy to read up if you could point me in the right direction.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 26 Oct 2019 16:15

The Koreans have already begun putting the prototype of the KFX together. First flight in 2022.

Been following the TFX and KFX along with the AMCA. Turkey says the TFX will fly in 2025 but no real signs of progress (in contrast the bulkhead and other parts of the KFX fuselage were already shown.)

Looks like Korea will get the first 5th gen outside the P5. Japan has the X-2 prototype but will pass up a local mass produced 5th gen since they will be getting the F-35 in bulk. They have the F-3 project which is called 6th gen.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AviationWeek/status/1187843815538864130


Aviation Week
@AviationWeek
Rollout of the first KF-X prototype is due in June 2021 and its first flight in May 2022, the source says, giving more precise timings than those that have been published.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 26 Oct 2019 19:20

They themselves only claim a 4-4.5 gen level of capability at service. It will not have a functional IWB, won't have integrated targeting system, and will be relying on basic F-414 engines so will be both RCS non-optimized and performance limited. They are getting ready to order 20 more F-35A's for the higher end requirements and there is some talk of an F-35B order as well to add naval strike fighter capability just as Japan has decided to do. But its a good step up for them from the T-50 and F/A-50. Over the next couple of decades, they can iterate and refine as required. They have a timeline in mind because of fleet recapitalization needs so that and risk is likely driving the schedule.

Japan's X-2 is not a fighter. It is a scaled test bed for maturing F-3 technologies and has just 22,000 lbs. of total thrust. There is no indication that the F-3 will be a "6th" generation aircraft. I haven't seen any revelation of any technology in support of that program that offers a glimpse into some of the important things that are likely to find there way on those type of aircraft (like wideband VLO, High Energy Laser turrets and targeting, adaptive engines, etc etc. etc.). Japan can probably bring to service a clean sheet ATD-X derived F-3 by the early to mid 2030's if they want to. It will be expensive, but they have the capability to probably do it even with home grown engines, by mid 2030's. Their concern is the opportunity cost and its impact on other defense development and procurement priorities. There is a school of thought within Japanese national security community that they would be better served in investing in their Navy, and Integrated Air and Missile Defense instead. We'll see who wins but it is probably going to be a mix of all with them preserving their capability to design and develop something if they want to but not pulling the trigger until a little later.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 00:11

The Italian Air Force sent some if its IOC/FOC F-35A's to Iceland for a 3+ week NATO Air Policing mission deployment immediately after the platform and the squadrons were declared operational for the mission.

With an official ceremony held at Keflavik International Airport (KIA), the Italian Air Force has completed its rotation in support of NATO’s air policing mission in Iceland. Dubbed “Operation Northern Lightning”, the Italian mission had started on Sept. 24, when the first formation of four F-35A Lightning II, belonging to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) left Amendola AB for Keflavik supported by a KC-767A tanker with the 14° Stormo from Pratica di Mare, a C-130J of the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) from Pisa, and a P-72A Maritime Patrol Aircraft beloning to the 41° Stormo from Sigonella. Two more F-35A landed at KIA on Sept. 25.

Operating as part of the TFA (Task For Air) 32nd Wing, the Italian 5th generation jets achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) on Oct. 1, 2019, and the FOC (Final Operational Capability) on the following day, Oct. 2, two days ahead of the initial schedule. The mission readiness certificate was handed over by Lt. Col. Wilhem May from NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, Germany, to the TFA commander Col. Stefano Spreafico during a ceremony held at Keflavik on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

For more than three weeks, the F-35As of the TFA 32nd Wing provided NATO QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) capabilities to meet Icelandic peacetime preparedness needs working with the controllers at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany and the Control and Reporting Centre at Keflavik.During their stay in the Arctic region, the F-35s performed 20 T-Scrambles (Training Scrambles) and flew 150 FH (Flight Hours) with an efficiency of the aircraft close to 100 percent.

Operation Northern Lightning marked the first time the F-35 of any partner nation operated under NATO command.

LINK




Pilot Interview -

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Special-Re ... oid=717004

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 27 Oct 2019 12:55

Thanks for the reply, Brar ji.

What is your opinion of this article for the F-3. I always liked looking non-Western/Russian aircraft and this one created some buzz.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/f-35-rip-japan-working-powerful-6th-generation-stealth-fighter-79521

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Oct 2019 18:52

I haven't read it and don't waste my time with the publication, though (reading the title from the link) it must take some guts to publish that kind of an article on the even of Japan announcing that they're ordering about 100 additional F-35's on top of their initial order..6th generation combat fighters will need to leverage half a generation or a generation of advancement in survivability (stealth, EW, self defense munitions etc.), leverage or provision for technology insertion of things like High Energy Lasers etc..and must also at the same time be connected through and through across air and space assets. Besides shaping, materials, and aerodynamics, much of the advances will be internal, focusing on propulsion, and power production, storage (HEL), thermals, and thermal offloading..You need to design combact HEL products, turrets that are capable of operating within the sort of environment that a supersonic combat fighter exists in etc. etc.

You can't go from an F-2 to a 6th generation fighter without spending a lot of treasure and time to develop, test, validate, and operationalize many underlying core technologies...Japan always wanted the F-22. If they dedicate their resources into the F-3 they can probably get something similar by 2035..perhaps somewhere in between the F-22 and F-35 and even superior in some areas (though just like everyone else, meeting the performance of the F-22 is extremely challenging and costly). But 6th generation technologies (as in a set of core capabilities that can be collectively considered a generation ahead of 5th gen.) are much beyond that.

I have not come across any application or R&D investments, testing, or successes shared by Japan pertaining to some of those things. Something like this -

Lockheed Martin Receives Contract To Develop Compact Airborne High Energy Laser Capabilities
Contract funds development of high power laser to be tested on tactical fighter jet



The SHiELD program includes three subsystems:

* SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE), the beam control system, which will direct the laser onto the target
* Laser Pod Research & Development (LPRD), the pod mounted on the tactical fighter jet, which will power and cool the laser
* Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE), the high energy laser itself, which can be trained on adversary targets to disable them

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 28 Oct 2019 14:19

^^^ Thanks for the reply Brar ji. Yeah, the National Interest often hype foreign systems as if a scare tactic for Congress to release even more money for defense. But they are a good and fun read with gems every once in a while though I can understand that serious watchers might not bother with them.

The Japanese certainly seems capable of at least 5gen machine if they are willing to incur the cost. But they suffer from the same boon and bane of easy access to top rate phoren technology as we do. The vast amounts they spend on the F-35 will inevitably decrease resources and will for a local program where cost are even more expensive in Japan than the US.

But owning 150 F-35s is nothing to shake a stick at!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Oct 2019 20:01

Yeah, the National Interest often hype foreign systems as if a scare tactic for Congress to release even more money for defense. But they are a good and fun read with gems every once in a while though I can understand that serious watchers might not bother with them.


NI's defense wing is a tabloid with its boss coming from the strongly left-leaning POGO/Mother Jones/Congressional "reformers" staff revolving door. Insider's know that he was essentially let go by his prior 2 employers for essentially fabricating sources. No one with any decision authority or in a position to get "scared" probably pays any attention to their crap.They are click bait.

For Japan, given that it is a powerful economy (but one that isn't really growing) yet faces an even more formidable and well resources adversary, the choice is not between an F-35 and F-3. It is rather between other competing domestic investment tracks such as more submarines, better submarines, more IAMDS, better IADS etc. etc. etc. F-35 is their present while the F-3 would be their future. If they determine that they need a NG fighter then funding it is not going to be a concern. The opportunity cost and the impact on other domestic priorities will be an important consideration. They are not really a defense exporter and hence low domestic demand, coupled with high internal cost leads them to these choices.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Oct 2019 21:21

BAE Systems To Develop Next Generation Towed Decoy For US Navy Aircraft


BAE Systems’ FOTDs are radio-frequency countermeasure systems that provide robust self-protection capabilities for any aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports. The company’s Dual Band Decoy development work is intended to expand the capabilities of its combat-proven AN/ALE-55 FOTD.

“Our towed decoys enable pilots to execute missions in highly contested airspace,” said Tom McCarthy, Dual Band Decoy Program Director at BAE Systems. “ALE-55 FOTD is a reliable, high-powered jamming system with years of mission success on the F/A-18E/F and extensive flight-testing on a variety of aircraft. Under this new Dual Band Decoy contract, our focus will be building upon the ALE-55’s proven performance in order to defeat the threats of tomorrow.”

The primary role of the decoy is to protect the warfighter by luring threat missiles away from the aircraft. The decoy also combines techniques that disrupt adversaries’ radar, preventing missile launch from occurring. Much like the ALE-55 FOTD, the Dual Band Decoy will interface with onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, but it can also operate independently, enhancing its effectiveness against current and future threats.

BAE Systems recently celebrated the production of its 3,000th ALE-55 FOTD unit – a milestone that builds on the company’s leadership and technical strength in EW. The Dual Band Decoy engineering work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and will leverage the company’s existing technologies and expertise.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 29 Oct 2019 20:45

Historic F-35 order covering production Lots 12, 13 and 14 (including international partner block buys in Lots 12, 13 and 14) has now been inked and finalized. Overall, its a $34 Billion contract covering 478 aircraft over the three year of production lots. Interestingly, the award also now definitizes the growth in production rates over Lots 12 through 14. Though not as steep as rate growth in the past, growing from 149 aircraft production per year to 169 will regardless not be easy.

In newly inked deal, F-35 price falls to $78 million a copy


The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have finalized a $34 billion deal for the next three lots of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, setting the price of an F-35A jet below $80 million.

The fresh price tag has come a year earlier than expected. The deal includes 478 F-35s for U.S. and international customers across lots 12, 13 and 14.

On average, the price per aircraft will fall about 12.8 percent across all variants from Lot 11 to Lot 14, according to the Pentagon.

“This is the first time the F-35 Joint Program Office will award a significant F-35 aircraft procurement in the same fiscal year as the congressional appropriation year,” Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord told reporters Tuesday.

“We will reach a unit-recurring flyaway-cost-per-aircraft target of $80 million for a U.S. Air Force F-35A price by Lot 13, which is one lot earlier than planned — a significant milestone for the department,” she added.

The F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing model — which is used by the U.S. Air Force and most international users — is set to decrease from a Lot 11 price of $89.2 million to $82.4 million in Lot 12; $79.2 million in Lot 13; and $77.9 million in Lot 14.

The F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing model will fall to $108 million in Lot 12, $104.8 million in Lot 13 and $101.3 million in Lot 14. The F-35C variant, which can take off and land on aircraft carriers, also decreased in price, dropping to $103.1 million in Lot 12, $98.1 million in Lot 13 and $94.4 million in Lot 14.

Lockheed will deliver 149 F-35s in Lot 12, 160 aircraft in Lot 13 and 169 for Lot 14.

Neither Lord nor Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive, could explain why the size of the Lot 12 buy had dwindled from the 157 jets announced in June as part of the handshake deal to 149 jets in the definitized agreement.
The Pentagon announced the contract definitization on Monday, awarding Lockheed Martin a $7 billion modification to a previous contract vehicle for the F-35. The Defense Department previously obligated funding to Lockheed through undefinitized contracts for about 255 aircraft, Fick said.
......


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 01 Nov 2019 00:06

brar_w wrote:BAE Systems To Develop Next Generation Towed Decoy For US Navy Aircraft


BAE Systems’ FOTDs are radio-frequency countermeasure systems that provide robust self-protection capabilities for any aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports. The company’s Dual Band Decoy development work is intended to expand the capabilities of its combat-proven AN/ALE-55 FOTD.

“Our towed decoys enable pilots to execute missions in highly contested airspace,” said Tom McCarthy, Dual Band Decoy Program Director at BAE Systems. “ALE-55 FOTD is a reliable, high-powered jamming system with years of mission success on the F/A-18E/F and extensive flight-testing on a variety of aircraft. Under this new Dual Band Decoy contract, our focus will be building upon the ALE-55’s proven performance in order to defeat the threats of tomorrow.”

The primary role of the decoy is to protect the warfighter by luring threat missiles away from the aircraft. The decoy also combines techniques that disrupt adversaries’ radar, preventing missile launch from occurring. Much like the ALE-55 FOTD, the Dual Band Decoy will interface with onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, but it can also operate independently, enhancing its effectiveness against current and future threats.

BAE Systems recently celebrated the production of its 3,000th ALE-55 FOTD unit – a milestone that builds on the company’s leadership and technical strength in EW. The Dual Band Decoy engineering work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and will leverage the company’s existing technologies and expertise.


Is this based on any existing Towed Decoy system that is in use?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 01 Nov 2019 00:14

Japanese F-15Js will be around for a lot longer, thanks to this proposed F-15JSI upgrade program. Makes a lot of sense for Japan, given the robustness of the F-15 airframe, and the threats emanating from China and South Korea's stronger posture. Gives the JASDF some breathing room to accomodate for delays to the possible F-3 program.

Basically a new AESA radar, new Mission Computer, EW system, radio and mission planning. Keep in mind, Japan has indigenous GaN AESA radars that are used on the F-2 and yet they've opted for the APG-82(v)1, possibly to keep the integration and testing timelines shorter than would have been possible with indigenous solutions.

Green light for F-15 Japanese Super Interceptor upgrade

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he U.S. State Department has approved a possible $4.5 billion upgrade program for 98 of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF)’s fleet of Boeing/Mitsubishi F-15J Eagles to the Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) standards. According to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency release, the program will see the delivery and integration of the APG-82(v)1 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, Advanced Display Core Processor II Mission System Computer, ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System, ARC-210 digital radio, and other support systems such as the Joint Mission Planning System.

Most Japanese F-15Js were built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) between 1981 and 1997, and MHI will continue to be the prime direct commercial sales (DCS) contractor for the upgrade and integration, while Boeing leads the FMS elements and will act as subcontractor to MHI for DCS elements. Japan’s F-15Js have been heavily utilized in recent times on air defense missions, with an average of two scrambles daily, but it is unclear if the upgrade will also include extending the airframe hours.

The announcement comes months after the defense ministry requested 5.3 trillion yen ($50 billion) for the next fiscal year, primarily for the purchase of more F-35A/Bs. The unclear future of its domestic F-3 stealth fighter program and a relatively drawn-out introduction of the F-35A to replace more than 200 JASDF combat aircraft could have also prompted the decision to proceed with the JSI.

Around the turn of the century, the F-15Js were locally upgraded with Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)1 radar, F100-IHI-200E engines, and new ejection seats, as well as certified to carry the domestic AAM-4 (Type 99) medium-range air-to-air missile. Later, in 2009, some received upgrades for Link 16 datalink and helmet-mounted sights for the AAM-5 (Type-04) short-range missile.

The F-15s to be upgraded to JSI configuration are those that were originally delivered with the Multi-Stage Improvement Program (MSIP) modifications. Non-MSIP aircraft are due to be phased out and replaced by F-35s.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Nov 2019 01:46

Kartik wrote:
Is this based on any existing Towed Decoy system that is in use?


It is a Demonstration of Existing technologies around a Dual-Band decoy system. Raytheon and BAE are free to choose whichever path they want to take to execute the 27 month DET. They can integrate the said technology on a new ALE-50 derivitive or pursue a new design. After the demonstrations, the USN will determine whether they are satisfied and if so procure the said solution, or whether additional technology needs to be brought in. They are doing the same with the Next Generation Jammer - Low Band. Northrop Grumman is currently executing a DET with a pod that is currently flying. If the US Navy thinks that technology is sufficient it will introduce it by 2024 and if not it will open up the competition to new technology solutions.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 01 Nov 2019 04:53

thanks brar_w. A pleasure reading your posts.

In other news, the F-16V is likely to land the 66 unit Taiwan order soon. The Taiwanese parliament has okayed the funding for the buy. Expect some strong protests from China. But someone needed to show them a big middle finger.

From AW&ST

Taiwan’s Parliament has approved funding to buy 66 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighters, the country’s president says.

The Yuan legislature vote reflects “our collective will to defend our liberty and sovereignty,” President Tsai Ing Wen wrote in a tweet on Oct. 30.

U.S. President Donald Trump approved the possible F-16 sale to Taiwan on Aug. 20, ignoring strong objections by the Chinese government.

The approved export package includes the Northrop Grumman APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar, the latest version of the Airborne Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite, helmet-mounted cueing systems and GE Aviation F110 engines, according to the Defense Security and Cooperation Agency.

Pending a contract signing, Lockheed will produce the F-16s on an assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina.

The F-16 Block 70s will likely replace Taiwan’s fleet of 62 aging F-5E/F and RF-5E fighters. Taiwan also operates more than 50 Dassault Mirage 2000-5s.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 01 Nov 2019 05:39

More details on the South Korean KF-X.

Block 1 will be only air to air capable.
Block 2 will introduce air to surface capability.
Twin seat version is also planned.

From AW&ST

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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has begun building the first prototype for the KF-X fighter program, following completion of the critical design review in September. Development is running on schedule, a source close to the program says.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s defense technology organization and Hanwha have flight-tested a technology-demonstration fighter radar in cooperation with Elta Systems, while proceeding in parallel with full-scale development of the sensor for the KF-X.


Production contract should come in 2024 for delivery in 2026

Block 1 will have air-to-air capability only

Rollout of the first KF-X prototype is due in June 2021 and its first flight in May 2022, the source says, giving more precise timings than those that have been published.

Production of the first aircraft, a single-seater, is beginning with the forward fuselage. There will be four single-seat and two twin-seat prototypes. These aircraft will be built to the Block 1 standard, cleared for air-to-air missions only. The Block 2 will introduce air-to-surface capability. Although the KF-X is designed for eventual development of a stealthy version, the government has given no indication of when that may happen.


The first flight-test aircraft is following the strength-test airframe into manufacturing. KAI began building that static test structure in March.

South Korea requires 120 KF-Xs to replace Lockheed MartinF-16s. Indonesia is a junior partner in the program, with a reported requirement for 50 aircraft.

The twin-engine fighter is powered by the General Electric F414-GE-400K turbofan generating 22,000 lb. thrust. Maximum speed will be 2,200 kph (1,370 mph), according to KAI, revealing the figure for the first time since exploratory development. Payload will be 7.7 metric tons (17,000 lb.) and ferry range 2,900 km (1,800 mi.), it says.

The air force is due in 2024 to review test results and, if satisfied, advise the defense ministry to issue a production contract, says the source. Manufacturing of delivery aircraft will then go ahead while flight testing proceeds to a targeted completion in June 2026, winding up Block 1 development about 10.5 years after program launch. Then deliveries are supposed to begin in late 2026.

KAI displayed a full-scale mockup at the Seoul Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, held on Oct. 15-19. The mockup shows no changes from the preliminary design that the air force approved in July 2018.

The KF-X is initially being designed to use the MBDA Meteor long-range and Diehl IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles. Washington routinely withholds permission for integration of U.S. air-to-air missiles in the first few years of a foreign fighter program, so Seoul will seek approval for the work after the first flight, says a South Korean government source who is close to the program. The Raytheon AIM-120 medium-range and AIM-9 short-range weapons are presumably the desired weapons.
[b]
More than 1,000 engineers are working at KAI on the KF-X. One issue debated before program launch in late 2015 was whether KAI could find it had insufficient engineering resources to develop the aircraft, which has an empty weight of 12 metric tons.
The first source says the problem has not arisen.

The radar demonstrator, mounted in Elta’s Boeing 737 testbed, was flown 10 times in Israel and six times in South Korea, says a researcher from the technology organization, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD).


The ADD is leading development of the radar. Officially, Hanwha is contracted for manufacturing, but officials close to this work say the company is also helping in development.

The radar program was committed to full-scale development before technology demonstration. The intended production radar passed its critical design review in May 2019. Development is due for completion in 2026, so it will be ready just as KF-X deliveries are due to begin.

The radar has an active, electronically scanned array (AESA). In 2014, before KF-X full-scale development began, the government’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute said it would use gallium-nitride semiconductors. It will have about 1,000 transmitter-receiver modules, local media say.

Building and testing the technology demonstrator is the first phase, which includes software for air targets. The second phase will produce software for ground and sea targets, Lee Bumseok, the head of the ADD division handling the project, said at a seminar ahead of the exhibition. This phase is due to be completed in October 2021. A prototype radar is due to be fitted in a KF-X prototype in 2023.

South Korea has not previously developed a fighter radar. It has built indigenous naval and ground radars, including some with AESAs, but its experience looked so limited that foreign companies expected one of them would provide the technological foundation for the program.

Instead, the ADD was authorized to create a fully South Korean radar. Elta is supposed to play a relatively minor supporting role, but it is clearly positioned to step up its involvement should the program run into trouble.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Nov 2019 20:06

Indonesia Wants Two Squadrons of F-16 Block 72s


The Indonesia Air Force (TNI-AU) chief, Air Marshal Yuyu Sutisna, told local media that the service has inaugurated a plan to acquire two squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 72 Vipers from 2020. He said that the purchase will be made in stages as part of the TNI-AU’s five-year strategic plan for 2020-2024.

“Purchasing that variant means we will have the most sophisticated F-16s,” said Yuyu. Indeed, the new jets would mean that the TNI-AU’s fleet will be on par with the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-16C/D/D+ fleet, which is currently undergoing a midlife upgrade program that will also include the installation of the Northrop Grumman APG-83 AESA radar and Link 16, with certification of the AIM-9X, JDAM, and GBU-39B small diameter bomb. Work began in 2016 and the first aircraft is expected to be ready in 2020. “Indonesia is a longstanding and valued partner,” added a Lockheed Martin statement. “We are committed to supporting the Indonesian Air Force and stand ready to support their future defense needs.”

Without giving more details, Yuyu also said that the TNI-AU is in the process of acquiring the Sukhoi Su-35 as a replacement for the withdrawn Northrop F-5E/F fleet, a program that has seen significant delays and sanctions that were thought to have jeopardized the deal.

The TNI-AU currently operates two squadrons of 33 F-16s, with 19 ex-U.S. Air Force F-16C Block 25s and five F-16D Block 25s as the backbone, delivered under the Peace Bima-Sena II program following upgrading in the U.S. to Block 52 standards. The six-year project commenced in 2011 and ended in December 2017, allowing the existing 3 Skadron Udara at Madiun to bolster its inventory with new aircraft, and the formation of 16 SkU at Pekanbaru.

Indonesia originally received 12 F-16A/Bs under Peace Bima-Sena I for 3 SkU in 1989-90, and nine of them are believed to remain operational. The TNI-AU’s other principal fighter unit is 11 Skadron Udara at Hasanuddin, which flies a mixed bag of 16 Su-27SKs, Su-27SKMs, Su-30MKs, and Su-30MK2 “Flankers.”


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